Gristle To Gold
Randy McAllister And The Scrappiest Band In The Motherland
Reaction Records 2015
Review by David Bowling
Randy McAllister is now nearly a dozen albums into his career. He is one of those hardcore bluesmen who is a road warrior, plying his craft in hundreds of towns and clubs each year, taking some time off every once in awhile to enter the recording studio and produce an album of well created blues that branches off in a number of directions.
He originally trained as a drummer but has emerged as one of blues music signature harp players. When combined with his blues laden vocals and ability to write lyrics for his energetic music, you have an artist whose music has acquired a nice patina and one who deserves more commercial success.
“The Kid With The Really Old Soul” and “The Push” blast the album out of the starting gate with the raw energy of a southern blues/rock fusion with McAllister’s harp leading the way. “Something That Don’t Cost A Dime” feature nice interplay between McAllister and guitarist Rob Dewan. “Bowling Pin” is an all too short two minute piece that finds McAllister wailing on his harp supported by some tasty slide guitar from Dewan.
“I’m Like A Boomerang” and “Glass Half Full” prove that he is able to create music that is more complicated and has a fuller sound. The first has two guitars and an organ, which create a number of layers waiting to be explored. “Glass Half Full” has a brass section in support, which moves the music to a different level.
McAllister’s approach to the blues has always been a little unique. His harp and personal lyrics fuel his music. If you have not been exposed to McAllister, give Gristle To Gold a try.